Chatting around the world - Twitter in Arabic (courtesy today’s world of free, easy-to-use networking tools with worldwide reach, associations and other fee-based groups (like a member-based DMO) must prove their value over and over to those who pay membership dues.

I was acutely conscious of this when I joined the AWC (Association for Women in Communications) National Board of Directors in the fall of 2011;  I asked the Board to let me see how we could use social media tools to foster a better, more valued sense of AWC community at the national level.

One of the things I really wanted to do was to start an #awcchat on Twitter.

Those of you who know me, know that I’m a big fan of Twitter, where I’ve been @SheilaS  since September 2007.

It’s one of the most powerful professional development tools I’ve ever encountered, particularly because of the regularly scheduled Twitter chats on many different topics. For my own business, #tourismchat is invaluable. The US National Trust for Historic Preservation runs #builtheritage. For farmers, ranchers and rural people, it’s #agchat. For bloggers it’s #blogchat. And so on….

I wanted a place to discuss general communications issues, and I wanted it to involve not only AWC chapters and members, but anyone who wanted to participate. By making it an open chat, it could not only nurture the current AWC community, but might also draw new members and make people more aware of us.

The Board agreed, so I canvassed the people I know who run chats, got some advice and set up an @AWCchat Twitter account as a first step.

[For the rest of this post, please see The Best Hour of Your Week: #awcchat on Twitter on the AWC Austin blog, and thanks for your interest!]

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